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Ramallah, West Bank, January 13, 2020—
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Palestine Capital Markets Authority (PCMA) signed an agreement today to support the development of Islamic financial services in the West Bank and Gaza.
IFC will work with the PCMA on developing a national road map that supports the growth of the nascent Islamic financial services industry. The roadmap will help standardize Shariah transactions, support a progressive legislative environment, and help raise public awareness about Islamic financial services. Unlocking the potential of the sector is expected to support greater financial inclusion. Nearly 25 percent of Palestinians avoid the traditional banking system because of a lack of Shariah-compliant financing options.
"Right now, many small businesses struggle to secure the capital they need to expand their businesses," said Nabeel Kasis, PCMA chairman. "By making it easier to access financial services, especially in-demand ones like Islamic finance, we can help these businesses grow and create jobs."
While the Islamic financial services industry is still in its infancy in the West Bank and Gaza, more than 30 percent of households and business have expressed interest in having Shari’ah-compliant financial services. IFC's support to the PCMA is part of a broader effort to support the growth of financial services across the Middle East and North Africa.
"Financial services are the lifeblood of an economy," said Walid Labadi, IFC’s Acting Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. "By making it easier for people and businesses secure credit, countries in this region can help address long-standing challenges, like unemployment and poverty.”
The partnership with the PCMA represents the continuation of IFC’s efforts to support the growth of the private sector in the West Bank and Gaza. In last few years, IFC has invested almost $100 million in the Palestinian private sector while offering a wide-ranging advisory services program. That work supports IFC’s goals of decreasing poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
About The Palestine Capital Market Authority (PCMA)
The PCMA, an autonomous authority existing under the Palestinian Capital Market Authority Law No. 13 of the year 2004, regulates and supervises the Palestinian non-banking financial sectors, is responsible for implementing corporate governance rules, and chairs the National Committee for Governance in West Bank and Gaza
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
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